Victor Davis Hanson Thoughts About Depressed Americans points at how “all the accustomed referents, the sources of security, of knowledge and reassurance appear to be vanishing.” VDH lists,
1) About Broke. The collective debt is simply staggering, $1.7 trillion in borrowing this year alone. $3.5 trillion is our annual budget, and by 2012 what we all owe will be well over $15-17 trillion. (No fears: the President promises to triple the Bush deficit, but by the end of his “first” term “halve” the deficit, as if tripling and then halving it is not increasing it.)
2) Fides? We have almost destroyed the concept of trust
3.) A Certain Coarseness. We also are wearied by a certain crassness in American society in ways we have not seen before—or at least since the mid-19th century. Sorry, I don’t want my President joshing about the Special Olympics on Leno. I don’t want him on Leno at all in his perpetual PR mode. I don’t want him drawing out his picks for the final four on TV. I don’t want him paid for rewriting/revising/ condensing/whatever his earlier book while he’s supposed to be President, or ribbing Gordon Brown about his tennis game in patronizing fashion, or giving the British a pack of un-viewable DVDs after they, in exchange, offered a tasteful gift of historic importance.
4) What is good/bad? We are depressed and listless and angry also because I think that we fear we have lost all sense of calibration. We can’t tell what is good and what is god-awful.
(5) Yes/No/Sorta/Maybe We sense we are trimmers and redistributors, and wouldn’t dare build a new dam a transcontinental railroad, a new 8 -lane freeway.
Instead we would sue, file reports, argue, quit, delay—anything other than conceive a majestic idea and finish it, sighing, “It is not perfect, but damn good enough and will do.” Instead, here in California we are simply destroying agriculture by drying up its sources of water-giving life—a once brilliant farming that was the sum total of millions of brave lives from 1880 to 2000 who took a desert and fed the world.
Scott Johnson has his list,
I feel utterly powerless to do anything about the fellow in the Oval Office who combines infantile leftism and adolescent grandiosity in roughly equal measures. It seems to me that every day he is responsible for assaults on the freedom and well being of the American people. I can’t keep up and I can’t stand to pay attention.
His aim seems to be to reduce us to government dependents. His inattention to rehabilitation of the financial system in lieu of vastly expanding the size and scope of the government is a dead giveaway, as is his lack of concern over the vast destruction of wealth his policies are working (and will continue to work).
Perhaps most depressing to me is the manifestation of his adolescent grandiosity in his stewardship of foreign policy and national security. He doesn’t understand that the government of Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons it can put to evil purposes. He thinks he can sweet-talk them out of achieving this objective.
When I started writing this post I had a list of the reasons why I am downright pessimistic. I decided to skip that and rely on Scott and VDH instead.
My mood is not exactly depression; instead I am completely pessimistic about America’s future. For the first time in my life, I can say that with certainty.
I simply see no way out of this economic and moral disaster.
Don looks at The Folsom Cell Block National Culture.
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